Bangkok - The Dream is A Reality

Bangkok Travel Blog

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Christmas Eve - my trip to Bangkok, Thailand and Siem Reap, Cambodia is about to come to fruition.  I had booked my airfares for this trip almost five months ago and I was lucky enough to have been booking my travel with a wonderfully enthusiastic and fantastic travel consultant who highly recommended this TravBuddy website as a great resource.  So, I had a good feeling about my trip right from the beginning.  If my travel agent is reading this blog - thanks again for the great recommendation  - I don't want to "out" you, but you know who you are     :-)

Whilst I had booked my trip many months in advance, for some reason I was totally unorganised this time around and had done very little preparation and reasearch on Siem Reap.  I had been to Bangkok a few times and felt relatively comfortable about what I would do, where I would go etc, but not so for Siem Reap and my Khmer was a little rusty (read non-existent!)  I would normally be the type of traveller who likes to know what I'm doing on a particular day and that my activities keep my day full and that I have crossed off a list of goals/places to visit on my holidays.  I know that this might be tedious and annoying for some, but it seems to work for me.  However, on this occasion, I guess in the run up to Christmas and the frenetic pace that everybody runs at, I just let it slide - I am thinking perhaps this is why I ended up enjoying my trip so much.

I booked my accomodation with a tour agent that was based in Brisbane, and I was very surprised at the number and range of accomodation options that were available in Siem Reap.  I had planned to visit Siem Reap for 5 days and wanted in that time to visit a number of humanitarian projects and if possible to do some volunteer work at an orphanage.  There was a particular land mine victim organisation that I wanted to visit as well having done a little bit of research on the internet about them, so that was on my list of places to visit.  I figured I would be happy to get a 3 day temple tour and then spend the other two days visiting projects or visiting an outlying temple if I wasn't over visiting the many many temples.  The trip and visits to these projects was managed by a newly formed Australian company called 2WorldTours (for all the Aussies reading this) - and was organised to the tee.  Narelle (the director of the company) made lots of suggestions about my itinerary and what  projects would be suitable to visit, how to get around, arranging a driver etc.  And all of my arrangements, and all of my many many questions were answered very timely via email.  I didn't have to the need to have to call her directly as  she was very clear in her responses and it was just as easy via email.  I was very very very impressed at the outset.  I can highly recommend this company if anyone is interested in travelling with a tourist and humanitarian focus in mind.  The website if you are interested is 
I had tried to travel with other larger organisations, however given my time was limited (10 days away), most of them required a minimum of a month long volunteer commitment.  There were no other companies that would organise short term introductory type visits like this, but thankfully 2WorldTours was exactly what I was looking for.

So, happily on my way to Bangkok, I was to spend three nights in Bangkok before then flying to Cambodia for five nights and back to Bangkok for two more nights before flying home.   I was to meet my brother and his girlfriend in Bangkok for the three nights and I was going to be staying at The Dream Hotel in Sukhumvit.  I had stayed at the counterpart Dream Hotel in New York the year before, and managed to get a fairly decent rate on at the Bangkok property so thought I would give it a go.  I found the hotel to be very modern and the room size was very large.  There was breakfast included in the rate, and have to say, it was on the rooftop overlooking the pool which was very spesh, although I only had time to enjoy this one morning.  The bed was incredibly comfortable and I loved the fact that there was a wall mounted plasma TV and a DVD (to watch all those pirated DVDs from MBK).  Met up with my brother much later that night and was keen to sample the great way that Asian countries have almost 24/7 shopping (bit of a novelty).  The location of the hotel is quite good, but one of the streets leading up to it is not very well lit, so you just need to be aware of that.  THe Skytrain was maybe a 5-7 minute walk away. 
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photo by: halilee